Experiencing Park Slope

Spending a couple of days in Park Slope, Brooklyn, was fun, exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating. Sydney and I stayed at Rachel and Dave’s apartment in Park Slope or, as the natives say, The Slope. When people think of Manhattan and Brooklyn, they think of flat terrain, not hills. In fact, the topography of the five boroughs is quite diverse and there are lots of hills. Going from Rachel’s apartment to Prospect Park is uphill all the way and a pretty good hike. Once you get there, though, it is a beautiful green space in a sea of brownstone homes and architecturally interesting pre-war apartment buildings.

There are strollers and people with dogs (some with strollers and dogs) everywhere! Park Slope is a family friendly neighborhood of young people, trendy restaurants, coffee shops, and retail shops. There is no shortage of things to do. The Y is blocks away. There is a Barnes & Noble bookstore, bagel shops of every size and description (The Beygl Shop is a new one!), and a food market that I would love to have access to! Rachel and I had a late lunch at Zito’s Deli sharing a sandwich and black cherry soda! zitos There don’t seem to be any official hours at most of these shops and you can get whatever is on the menu at any time of day or night. Zito’s has local flavor with exposed brick walls and a table of regulars that are old-time Brooklyn. Every place delivers — you could go to Prospect Park, choose a bench, and have lunch delivered to you if you want to!

One of the great pleasures of my stay was eating out — Dizzy’s for breakfast (best grits I’ve ever had!) and Okeanos for dinner. The food at Okeanos was beautifully prepared — Greek specialties with servers who appeared to be family. We waited out the thunderstorms last week with small plates of spanakopita, dolmades, calamari, and other traditional Greek dishes. Most restaurants are loud and friendly and you are never rushed. To say it’s a pleasure to dine in The Slope is an understatement.

The biggest challenge of my stay was the three steep flights of stairs to get to the apartment. Sydney took them like a champ although she’s still tired I think. I, however, stopped often for a breather. I’m not sure I could do this every day, especially having to walk the dog several times a day. But…I totally understand why Rachel and Dave love the location and want to stay there. On my early morning walk to the park, I passed a number of dads walking their children to school. Deep in conversation, one little girl and her father were laughing over something, and I thought what a lovely moment for them. Every day has a moment like this for them because they live in The Slope and take that walk to the neighborhood school each morning. For those who think that New York City and the surrounding areas are all steel and concrete, they need to know that family neighborhoods are in all parts of the city! I am lucky to have had those couple of days and cannot wait to do it again!